NAACP Joins Civil and Human Rights Groups to Advance Vision, Legacy of 1963 March on Washington

August 28 rally on anniversary of Dr. King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech will serve as precursor to major ‘One Nation’ march on 10-2-10

NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous will join the National Action Network (NAN) and other civil and human rights organizations, unions and clergy in a rally and march in Washington, DC on Saturday, August 28, 2010 to celebrate and commemorate the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The date marks the 47th anniversary of King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech and other notable orations delivered at the 1963 March on Washington.

Entitled “Reclaiming the Dream”, the march primarily seeks to remind Americans of Dr. King’s vision for a society in which all Americans were treated fairly despite racial, gender or other differences. Much like King and his supporters did on August 28, 1963, attendees of the rally will also march in the name of jobs and freedom.

“I will be proud to stand with my family and all my brothers and sisters on August 28 to reflect and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “We look forward to uniting in hope and advocating for a productive agenda for today’s America – jobs, justice, education.”

“Reclaiming the Dream” will precede a major march for jobs, justice and education by the NAACP and other organizations on 10-2-10. Known as One Nation Working Together, the October 2 rally represents a nationwide movement bringing Americans together, assessing our progress and challenges, and focusing on our unfinished agenda and issues that affect Americans every day of our lives such as the economy, education and the criminal justice system.

“In the spirit of Dr. King and the continuous civil rights agenda of our coalition, we will bring this major event to the nation’s capitol on 10-2-10, an event that will highlight the real problems affecting millions of Americans – jobs, justice and education,” said Jealous. “We know that Dr. King will be with us in spirit when we march to pull America back together and put America back to work on 10-2-10."

The August 28 commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington will take place in light of right-wing extremists attempts to detract from the legacy and true purpose of the original march. A concurrent rally also scheduled for August 28 at the Lincoln Memorial, the site of Dr. King’s famous delivery, and declares that it will “restore honor” to America. Despite disingenuous claims by organizers that the rally is not political, the event is closely aligned with the Tea Party political movement, which the NAACP has asked to repudiate the racist elements within its organization.

“With more than 101 years of fighting for equality and freedom for all Americans, we respect their right to express their opinions, however out of the mainstream they may be,” said Jealous. “But we are here to honor Dr. King’s historic gift of non-violence and equality to our nation, and we would note that Dr King never had to ask his followers to leave hateful signs and guns at home.”

The “Reclaiming the Dream” march will begin at Washington D.C.’s Dunbar High School and continue to the site where a memorial commemorating the legacy of Dr. King is under construction. The memorial is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2011.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.